Welcome,

My name is Sean Yalda. I am a designer & developer who loves to work on the web alongside a team of talented individuals.

I specialize in assisting people who have something valuable to share reach a wider audience. While living by Detroit, I balance my time between working for Pitch Black Media, consulting startups and working on fun side-projects. You should know that my curiosity never desists and I always challenge myself to reach new heights. When I’m not working, I’m reading, drumming, philosophizing, planning, and ultimately enjoying myself and my friends’ companies.

Note: I’ve reverted this website back to it’s previous design in order to maintain stability while I work on a redesign that will be a better fit. Stay tuned.

Front End Development is to…, as Back End Development is to….

I often find myself wondering if the people I talk to really understand how a website or web application works. I’ve seen recent studies that showed under 40% of the businesses in the United States still don’t have an online presence. I can only assume that most, if not all, of these businesses don’t understand what work really goes into a website. This article is my attempt to explain the development side of the web in an approachable manner.

Front End Development is to Carpentry, as Back End Development is to Engineering.

When it comes to building brick & mortar and online companies, there are architects in both industries. Where one uses blueprints, the other uses flow charts. In both industries, there are also designers, engineers & carpenters. This is a good analogy is because you can really help folks who, haven’t been able to comprehend what websites are really made, make better sense of things.

Carpentry & Front End Development

When it comes to carpentry, there’s concrete laying, framing, roofing, dry walling, tiling, installing doors, staircases, furniture and so on. Front end development can be just as extensive, with the biggest difference being cost of materials, where carpentry has a lot of material costs, front end development almost all just the cost of labor. Front end developers build the framework & foundation for the internet; front end development can be broken down into three major components:

  1. Structure (HTML)
  2. Presentation (CSS & WebGL)
  3. Behavior (JavaScript)

You combine these components to construct device & content responsive templates, buttons, menus, forms, animations, modal windows, sliders, interactive video and so on. In both cases, both industries require that their work be created with quality and performance in mind and end up usable and accessible. Only front end development isn’t nearly as regulated as carpentry (with building codes ’n‘ all).

Engineering & Back End Development

In the building industry, consider the installation of lights, outlets, security systems, heating, cooling, refrigeration and plumbing. All these things require that you route electric, gas and water to the building from nearby supplies. This easily relates to back end development where you install databases and control them by looking up, saving and changing data which makes everything on the front end work.  Back end development requires that you connect to a server and talk to it with a programming language such as PHP, Python, Ruby, .Net, JavaScript, etc.

Maintenance for a Safe & Reliable Home (or Website)

If the lights weren’t wired up to the electric, they wouldn’t work. If any of the electric, gas or water becomes faulty, this could end up costing you your building or house. The need for regular maintenance also applies to development, you never want your website to break while someone is visiting your website. You never want to be hacked because your code leaves some sort of clue to a backdoor. Maintaining your code is super important, especially if you’re dealing with sensitive data like credit card information on an eCommerce platform (online store).

What it’s all about…

Development is about building a great product or service that is high performing, accessible, usable, secure, and logical. Development is about making your life easier and giving you a place for your business to grow. When done right, development is an investment that should guarantee that you’ll see a return in a reasonable amount of time.

Experiencing The Lost-Art of Wood Engraving

My path of self-discovery has recently led me into experiencing the printmaking technique of wood engraving. Being that there is much left to explore, I can’t say a lot about the history of wood engraving, but what I can share is my experience; what it was like to see prints by legendary artists and how it felt to engrave an illustration onto a polished wooden block, roll ink over it and then press it onto paper.

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My first look into this “historic, yet contemporary relief medium” started during a workshop at one of my new favorite places, Signal Return. Taught by Jim Horton, this 3-day workshop began with a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), where art curator Nancy Sojka gave us a private look at their print gallery collection. I was amazed.

I had no idea that the DIA contained such treasures. Timothy Cole, Rockwell Kent, Barry Moser, Leonard Baskin, Auguste-Louis Lepère, Félix Vallotton, and M.C. Escher were a few of the artists whose prints I was able to witness in person. If you haven’t ever seen their work, I suggest you do now.

In quiet admiration, I listened to both Nancy & Jim as they shared the practices, techniques personal stories and brief history of the artists whose work I marveled at. I could tell that I wasn’t the only person in the room contemplating the time & effort that went into these pieces… And so our anticipation grew, we were to begin etching the next morning…

“While you are engraving, time seems to stand still. It is intense focus. It is almost a meditative experience.” — Jim Horton

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I’d like to continue writing about my experience (and I will!), but I’ve got some client-work to do. If anyone would like me to go on, leave a comment and i’ll be sure to get back to it sooner.